Motorsport: Oh brother Siblings give it their all

By Colin Smith


Completing only one of the three days of the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally - that ran in conjunction with Brother Rally New Zealand last weekend - may not look like a particularly successful outing for young Mount Maunganui driver David Holder.

But dig a little deeper into the stage times which Holder and his co-driver and elder brother, James, recorded with their near-standard 1600cc Toyota Levin and the driving talent and potential to progress further in the sport becomes easy to see.

Holder was sidelined in stage two on Friday morning with a broken water pump belt but took advantage of the re-joining rules to complete the four afternoon stages.

"We fixed the car at Raglan and rejoined and the afternoon was really good," said Holder.

But it was Saturday's performance on the flowing Northland roads where Holder made his mark.

"I loved the roads up there and we got a clean run. The roads flow nicely and all the corners link up together and you can carry a lot of speed," said Holder.

"When you get tighter corners and longer straights, the four-wheel-drives can get away from us."

On Saturday, Holder would finish fifth in the NZRC field - beaten only by Subaru drivers Richard Mason, Emma Gilmour, Matt Jansen and Matt Summerfield. He finished second in the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally day two results - setting the fastest times for four of the seven stages - just 1.9secs behind Summerfield.

Holder was quicker over the Saturday stages than the 2.0-litre Ford Fiesta Group N car of Nelson's Ben Hunt (who would eventually finish a strong 20th in the WRC event) and his total time over Saturday's seven stages was within one minute of Production WRC leader Marcus Ligato (Subaru Impreza) - only two of the PWRC competitors were quicker than Holder over Saturday's stages.

"Finally, it all came to end near the finish of the first stage on Sunday," said Holder.

"I ran wide and the back of the car dropped down a bank."

Fortunately, the car didn't roll and panel damage was limited to a front corner.

"But we dropped about four metres down a bank and ended up down near a river. The car is pretty good and we were lucky not to roll," said Holder.

"The annoying thing is I wasn't trying that hard but it was very slippery and I didn't adapt to the conditions."

Before the rally, Holder was named as the driver who New Zealand's 2011 Production WRC champion and 2012 Super 2000 WRC series leader Hayden Paddon intends to mentor.

"There'll be a chance to catch up with Hayden later this week and talk about the rally. We'll go through some plans for the future and ideas about sponsorship," said Holder.

The final round of the NZ Rally Championship is at Gisborne on August 24-25. Holder has already clinched the NZRC Open 2WD and Rookie titles and is fourth in the Junior (under-25) category.

New machine

Tauranga's M1 Motorsport squad has just taken delivery of a 2012 specification BMW S1000RR to chase New Zealand Superbike Championship honours next summer.

Former Tauranga racer Sloan Frost - now based in Wellington - will race the bike which replaces the team's 2009 model machine which Frost rode to third place in the 2011 and 2012 national superbike titles.

The new BMW will make its debut at the Manfeild winter series round on July 21.

"It's a pretty significant upgrade," says Frost.

"There is different chassis geometry, a new swing arm, an improved engine and new triple clamps (forks). They are little things but they add up to a pretty big update and a lot of the development from the World Superbike Championship has gone into the bike."

The first assignment for the bike saw team owner Robert Ramshaw complete 1000km of running-in on the road and the bike is now being stripped and race-prepared at BMW dealer Mount Motorcycles.

"We've got all the race parts we need to prepare the bike. In the interests of reliability, we are keeping the engine standard," says Frost.

"We will race at winter series events to develop the bike ready for the international Tri-Series in December."

The Tri-Series race are at Hampton Downs (December 8), Manfeild (December 15) and Wanganui (December 26).

A five-round 2013 New Zealand Superbike Championship will follow the same format as last summer with three South Island rounds at Ruapuna, Timaru and Teretonga on consecutive January weekends followed by Hampton Downs on March 16-17 and the final at Taupo on March 23-24.

Karting action

The Bay of Plenty Kart Club has a club day points meeting this Sunday at Fagans Valley Raceway and is also preparing for its biggest event of the year later this month.

The July 28-29 double-header will see the 725-m Fagans Valley venue host the fourth round of the Right Karts Rotax Max Challenge series and the third round of the Formula S Pro-Kart shifter kart series for KZ2 and KF3 class racers.

The two series will bring some of New Zealand's leading kartsport competitors to the Te Puke track.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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